The summer and fall edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jess D, a Race Pace Runner, training for the 2014 New York City Marathon with the goal of becoming a faster runner and setting a new Personal Record. Learn more about Jess and her goals here.
NYC marathon week has finally arrived! If you are anything like me, this is probably a very emotional week for you. Whether you are running or spectating, there’s something magical about this week in NYC…nothing compares to it!
But race week didn’t arrive without any hiccups along the way. Just when I thought I would be cruising right into the last leg of my training, the unexpected happened…a horrible virus. I was out of work for 3 days and could barely get out of bed. This washed out my last 20 miler, and pretty much all of what would have been my “peak week.” I may or may not have cried myself to sleep just about every night thinking about the sabotage that was happening to the 13 weeks of perfect training I had put in up to that point.
When the virus finally passed and I started to feel my strength coming back, I had a trip planned for months to visit a girlfriend in Colorado. I had visions of beautiful mountain runs with the wind blowing through my hair. WRONG. Can you say altitude fail? I could barely breathe. It literally felt like someone was pinching my lungs shut. It was a struggle to bang out a 4 miler and I chugged the entire time.
By the time I get back to NYC I was busting at the seams to get back into the park. To try and see what my body could handle after so much unplanned forced rest time. The taper crazies were setting in way too early. Well that first run ended up being done on a treadmill due to a downpour and it was rough. I felt like I was working really hard to hit paces that came easy to me prior to the virus. My confidence was starting to rattle. Jess assured me that by the weekend I should be back on track…and as always, she was right.
The next day I hit the west side highway for a 10 miler. All I could think about was kicking this run in it’s a$$. Nothing was going to ruin this marathon for me! And just like that, I clocked the fastest 10 miles I had during my entire training period. Even managed to squeak out mile 5 at a 7:48. WOW. I was back.
That 10 mile west side highway run was followed by another glorious 10 miler this passed weekend- the last 10 miles of the NYCM course. Jess organized this group run through Girls on the Run and everyone had a great time. There were so many runners out running the course- the energy was on fire.
I’ve learned that you can’t control the unexpected. But you can make the most out of every minute you’re given and hope for the best. I plan to enjoy every part of NYCM week. Walks through the park to see the finish line and flags, morning runs to finish off my training, the expo at the Javitts Center…I’ll be there, smiling ear to ear and feeling grateful to be a part of this special time in the city I love.